This is a continuation of my “Life Hacks” series. In case you missed parts one and two, check them out!

Today’s topic is MONEY. Here are a few tips to help you manage what is often a limited resource, especially in this current economy.

1. Save before you spend. Not the other way round.

When you get your salary, decide how much you want to save first and put it away, then spend what’s remaining on bills and what have you. It’s more difficult to save when you don’t have a plan. There’ll always be something on which to spend money. Buying a product on sales does not really save you money if you’re buying what you didn’t need in the first place, or you’re buying three when you only needed one. Searching and waiting for sales promo when you need to buy something that is really essential but expensive can also save you money.

2. Buy used stuff when it is practical and cost-effective.

Don’t be trying to spend the money you haven’t earned. The new and good things will come, in a few years. Right now you need to work and save. Cars, clothes, phones, tablets, washing machines etc. Nobody that matter will care if it’s new or used.

3. Don’t be cheap, at least not always.

It is often cheaper to buy 1 expensive item and use it for 10 years, than buy 1 ‘cheap’ item that doesn’t last for a year and you need to re-purchase every now and then.

4. Store food.

Every month you should store a small amount of grains, canned foods, and other food stuff that are not perishable. It might be two packs (bowls) of rice, beans, 1 bottle of oil etc. It might just save your life someday. Ideally, you should have enough storage to last you for 6-24 months. Regularly replace the old stuff with new ones. Eat the old ones and replace them with the new one you just bought.

5. Take lunch to work with you.

That cheap business lunch is not really that cheap when it adds up. Don’t allow co-workers to pressure you into getting the expensive lunch that you know you cannot afford. I’ve fallen into that trap myself a few times. It can be very painful.

6. Save your money in hard currency (dollars, Euro or pounds).

With the recent spiral of the value of the naira, the reason for this should be obvious. Other currencies tend to fluctuate just too much to be safe. Also, do not save your money at home. You never can tell when the ‘owners’ will come to collect it. I’m talking from experience here.

7. DO NOT BORROW.

Debt holds you back. If it is not life or death, just don’t borrow to get it. When you do borrow, pay it off as soon as possible.

And finally…

8. Do NOT chase money.

Chase opportunities, experiences, and connections instead. Money will come automatically when you’re chasing the right ideas.

That’s it for the life hacks on money and finance. If you have any other hacks that work for you, feel free to share them in the comment section. Look out for the next episode on security hacks. Till then, be safe and be happy.

Responses

    1. Oluwaseun Post author
      True and true. Sometimes the only way to get value is to pay up.

      I read your article. It’s well written. Unfortunately, horrors like this still happen at a rate we wouldn’t want to believe. Education, I believe, is the key to true freedom.

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  1. Tess
    “Do not borrow”. I beg to differ on this. I will agree if you had said ‘Do not borrow to spend’. If you are borrowing to invest, why not?.

    You made valid points, though. Thanks.

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    1. Oluwaseun Post author
      I agree with you Tess, to some extent. The idea is to treat credit like a plague. There’s always some advert telling you how ‘stuff basically pays for itself.’ and people, because of lack of self-control, end up buying stuff that they don’t really need and spend years paying for it, plus an ever increasing interest. You can borrow to pay for maybe medical bills, down payment on a home, or maybe even for education. You should probably not be borrowing to buy a car for example if you don’t need if the car is not going to earn you money or help you earn more. You can also look for investors if you have a business or start-up idea, that way you can minimize the risk if your start-up fails. Bottomline is, you can borrow and in some cases you should, but the idea is to avoid it as much as possible.
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  2. Chizara
    I will like to add that one should reinvest some of their savings. It could either be in a startup business or in themselves through education, getting a certificate or learning a new skill. I say this because money saved, never grows unless planted.
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